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Academic Accommodations for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

The following excerpt is from McMaster University’s Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous, and Spiritual Observances (effective September 2015):

McMaster University strives to be welcoming and inclusive of all its members and respectful of their differences. Students, staff, and instructors come from a range of backgrounds, traditions and beliefs. The University recognizes that, on occasion, the timing of a student’s religious, Indigenous, or spiritual observances and that of their academic obligations may conflict. In such cases, the University will provide reasonable academic accommodation for students that is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code, through respectful, accessible, and fair processes.

Click here to be directed to the full policy on the Office of Human Rights & Equity Services website.

RISO Fact Sheet for Students (PDF)

Academic Obligations Excluding Registrar-Invigilated Examinations

  • Students are to submit the RISO form to their faculty office (for students in Humanities, this is the Academic Advising Office) within 10 working days of the beginning of each term in which they anticipate a need for accommodations.
  • In cases where an Observance is unanticipated, please contact the advising office as soon as possible.
  • Once the RISO form has been reviewed and approved, the advising office will send days and/or times during which the conflict(s) is anticipated to the relevant instructors by email, with a copy to the student.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to follow up no later than five working days with their instructor(s) regarding making accommodations arrangements.
  • The nature of relief is at the discretion of the instructor.

Faculty of Humanities RISO Form (PDF)

Registrar-Invigilated Examinations

  • Students are to complete a RISO form in person at the Scheduling & Examinations Office (Gilmour Hall 114) as soon as possible upon receiving their exam schedule, no later than 10 working days prior to the commencement of the examination period.
  • If the student fails to meet this deadline, it may not be possible to reschedule the examination within the current exam period. In such cases, students must visit their faculty office to request alternative arrangements.
  • The Registrar’s Office will normally inform students of their rescheduled examination(s) at least five working days prior to the beginning of the examination period.

Forms may be picked up in Gilmour Hall 114.